Jumpers vs. Clingers:
Understanding Your Decision Style.
Over the years, I have identified
two kinds of midlife career changers: Jumpers and Clingers.
Jumpers thrive on energy, enthusiasm and improbable luck. The
last three times they leaped, a net appeared. They see no reason
why the next jump should be any different.
Clingers thrive on careers that offer security, money and identity.
When they outgrow their careers, or find themselves forced out,
they feel lost. They can't remember the last time they found
themselves in this position.
and clingers for career change
Jumpers call a coach when they are ready to find a new mountain.
Suggest a destination and they ask, "Where is it?"
Often they've made another leap before the coach realizes what
is going on.
Clingers call a coach when they find themselves lost in the jungle.
They ask, "How do I know if I've made the right decision?"
and, "How can I find security?" They hold out a one-way
ticket, asking, "How do I change to a round trip?"
Jumpers have learned to accept that sinking-feeling-in-the-gut
as they leap off the mountain. Climbers are not used to feeling
edgy. They don't want a roadmap; they want a hotel reservation,
preferably chosen from a listing in the auto club book.
change lessons for jumpers and clingers
Both Jumpers and Clingers face a new reality. Even the bravest
Jumper can run out of luck. Choose the wrong mountain and the
net never appears. And in the twenty-first century, Clingers
must create their own security.
Jumpers must stop at the edge of the mountain, before the point
of no return. "Does this feel right?" they have to
ask. "Should I look first this time, to see if the net really
exists? Or maybe instead of leaping it's time to climb down more
carefully, one ledge at a time."
Clingers also have to ask, "Does this feel right?"
Like Jumpers, they must look for safety nets. They learn to read
maps and differentiate between dangerous potholes and afternoon
shadows. And when they can't get a guaranteed hotel reservation,
they learn to make a contingency plan to avoid sleeping in the
Jumpers learn to walk where they used to run. Clingers learn
to walk where they used to ride.
Most people will combine the qualities of jumpers and clingers,
but you can save a lot of grief by knowing your prevailing style.
Jumpers need guides who say, "Stop! Think!" Clingers
need guides who motivate them to go. Over-motivated jumpers become
daredevils; over-planned clingers lose momentum.
Both jumpers and clingers face disaster. Jumpers leap into icy
water or treacherous rocks. Clingers find their once-secure shelter
has been blown over by a hurricane.
Jumpers bring energy and daring to a new venture; clingers bring
planning skills and a track record of past accomplishment. Ultimately,
both achieve success by recognizing their own operational styles
and using their own strengths to survive and thrive in new terrain.
Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D.
Author, Career Consultant, Speaker
*Fast Track to Career Freedom*